Tess Wilson's Recent Articles
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Before and After: A Seriously Impressive $10K Converted Garage Kitchen
Years ago, this garage had been converted into a full apartment, and the time had come for not just an upgrade, but a total gut job. Six weeks later, this bare bones corner is a darkly glam kitchen. Unfortunately, this is the only photo available, but here’s a bit of insight: “We don’t actually have a photo of the original kitchen, but trust me when I say, it was bad. The layout, the aesthetics, the functionality… none of it worked.
Nov 26, 2018
Before and After: This Boring Bathroom is Now Something Really Special
If this cautionary note attached to the sink with painter’s tape is giving anyone stressful flashbacks to renovation projects, just click through, admire the final results—functional sink and all—and breathe a sigh of relief. Shavonda Gardner of SG Style has accomplished something special here, balancing the luxuriant, leopard-filled wallpaper with black paint, a dark, minimal vanity, and straightforward white fixtures.
Nov 24, 2018
Before and After: One of Dr. Oz’s Dressing Rooms Gets Glam on a Budget
One of the Dr. Oz Show’s backstage dressing rooms was neglected and nearly empty, but it needed to become camera-ready in a very short amount of time, for a fairly small amount of money. All it took was a style guide, Amazon two-day shipping, and some major glam, and this room is ready for its closeup. The space before is not very inspiring, but it turns out the room was even worse in person: Bland, boring, and plain UGLY!
Nov 20, 2018
Before and After: This $35K Vintage Airstream Got a Very Modern Update
This vintage Airstream had a whole lot of faux paneling and bulky built-ins, but was recently given a breath of fresh air thanks to an enthusiastic couple who “loves to bring Airstreams back to life with a modern update.” This is completely dreamy.
Nov 19, 2018
Before and After: This Heavy Target Ottoman Is Now a Breath of Fresh Air
A reader felt that this “dark, old, manly faux leather ottoman” didn’t suit their apartment’s bright, new, laid-back vibe. So all it took was a staple gun and a colorful blanket to give it a fun, sunny new look.
Nov 16, 2018
Before and After: This Bathroom Is Now the Exact Opposite of Builder Grade
This was a pretty standard bathroom—nothing notably terrible, but definitely not to its new owners’ tastes. After just six weeks, there is an unrecognizably fabulous bathroom and a newly minted DIY renovation expert. Let’s here a bit about what this bathroom was really like: When we purchased our home last year, our master bathroom was one of the most unsightly rooms in the house.
Nov 15, 2018
Before and After: This Remodel Cleverly Updates Old White Kitchen Cabinets
This kitchen upgrade has been in the works for a while now—its new owners waited for the right renovation moment for two years, then made most of the changes you’ll see, then replaced the floors another two years later. It’s an imperfect but probably practical progression that many of us can relate to. Here’s what Room For Tuesday came up with, and it works so well.
Nov 14, 2018
Before and After: This Is Quite Possibly the Easiest Way to Change Up Your Bedroom
When one clever crafter gained a larger bed but lost a headboard, a humble roll of washi tape came to the rescue, completing the look without destroying the budget. Here was the issue. Georgina recently replaced her old bed with a much larger super-king, which didn’t come with a headboard. As a result, the plain wall above her bed suddenly looked very bare. She came up with a smart way to elegantly and affordably demarcate the sleeping space.
Nov 13, 2018
Before and After: An Online IKEA Order Solves a Classic Shoe Storage Problem
While this entryway looks pretty organized and well-wrangled in this photo, the entryway’s owner assures us that it was actually “cluttered and disastrous” on a daily basis. IKEA to the rescue! Reader Kate Sheehan explains the issues this hallway was causing: I had tried to make the entryway nice with two industrial shoe racks, but my husband and I have so many shoes that the hallway always looked cluttered and disastrous which is not a particularly great first impression.
Nov 12, 2018
Before and After: An Affordable, Transformative Fix For an Old Tile Floor
This is a near-perfect cozy corner—imagine curling up by that fireplace in that chair, warmed both by the fire and the radiator—but its new owner believed it could be totally perfect. And, indeed, perfection was achieved, thanks to about $150 and a summer of hard work. Here’s a little backstory on this house and its dated floor: Our house was built in 1910 and this particular floor was the only one replaced since.
Nov 11, 2018
Before and After: A Frumpy Living Room Goes Industrial-Cool
Brick veneer plus DIY art makes for one fresh hangout space.
Nov 10, 2018
Before and After: This Sofa Makeover Took 10 Minutes and $20 of Spray Paint
It looked and worked better than anyone thought.
Nov 9, 2018
Before and After: The Best IKEA BESTÅ Hack We’ve Seen in Ages
IKEA hacks are always fun, but this one resulted in a piece that looks more like a high-end mid-century modern credenza that would cost at least 10 times more than it actually did. This BESTÅ is about to truly live its best life. First, a little bit about how Alex Mcclain, the mastermind behind this hack, was inspired by: I really liked a mid-century style credenza I saw from a company called Rove Concepts but couldn’t justify spending the $1,000+ dollars so I had to get creative.
Nov 8, 2018
Before and After: This Kitchen Remodel Is a ‘Crazy Magic’ Blend of Industrial and Victorian Styles
This “industrial condo” needed to be transformed into a home to please someone who also loved Victorian homes and an elegant, full-of-antiques style. Somehow they managed to combine those two aesthetics seamlessly. How does this have so much vintage charm yet feel so fresh? That, I suppose, is the magic of Shannon Tate Interiors, who renovated this kitchen for a client.
Nov 7, 2018
Before and After: A Dated, Dark Wood-Paneled Kitchen Gives Way to Wow
No matter how much one might love wood paneling and/or brown, this kitchen featured a little too much of both. Between the orangey brown, the above-sink scallop, and the avocado stove, this kitchen was a ’70s triple threat—but not for long. According to the owner, the kitchen was pretty indicative of the house as a whole: [The entire house] had boxed-in living spaces, dark paneled walls, and carpet or linoleum covering up gorgeous original hardwoods.
Nov 6, 2018
This 300-Square-Foot Apartment Has Some Very Smart Storage
In a studio apartment, every single inch is precious. And while having an upstairs bedroom in a studio is a luxurious division of living area, a stairway seems like a massive waste of space. But fortunately, the designer of this tiny but totally enviable home saw so much more. Maggie Crowley of Maggie Davis Style is responsible for this glorious studio, and everyone who lives or has lived in a studio apartment is probably currently wishing Maggie could have worked this magic on those too.
Nov 5, 2018
Before and After: This Vintage Travel Trailer Got a $500 Facelift
This “disastrous” 1970s trailer is about to become a highly inviting guest room, parked on a lake and packed with vintage charm. And all it took was $500—and a lot of hard work. A 50(ish)-year-old trailer is bound to have a backstory, and this one definitely does: This trailer has a lot of history, and by the time we decided to start this project, it had definitely seen better days. A Prowler brand travel trailer, it originally belonged to my Grandpa’s fishing buddy.
Nov 3, 2018
The Best Deals From Harbor Freight’s Leaked Black Friday Sale Flyer
It’s well established that we love Harbor Freight and its great hardware selection and even greater prices, so we were predictably jazzed to peruse the Harbor Freight Black Friday ad, which was already revealed in October. It’s chock-full of deals, but these are our faves. Make your bargain-hunting plan today. Seriously, a mount that can handle a television “from 37 in. to 70 in. or 176 lbs” for less than $10—and it tilts? That’s a hell of a deal.
Nov 2, 2018
Before & After: This Widower’s Living Space Gets a Fresh Start
This living room project ends in a fresh start—something we could all use at some point in our life. Here is a little backstory on this project from the designer who helped a man in mourning start anew: During our first consultation, the house was in extreme disrepair. My client, a recent widower, was left to clean up the pieces of his wife who was an extreme “collector.
Nov 2, 2018
Home Depot, Costco, and Lowes Released Their Black Friday Appliance Deals Early
Black Friday is still a few weeks away, but the Black Friday appliance sales are here NOW. Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Costco have already begun their Black Friday savings, giving you more time to comparison shop, save up, and get the best deals possible.
Nov 1, 2018
Before and After: This Closet Makeover Goes from Cluttered to Clear
If you need closet inspiration or just a soothing image to gaze at for a moment, this is the closet makeover for you. See how this walk-in went from disorganized to dreamy in just three weekends. But first, some words from this closet’s owner, who had this to say about the space before: This space was dark, disorganized, and cluttered. It barely stayed neat and the constant mess made me feel like I had nothing to wear.
Nov 1, 2018
Before and After: A Very Satisfying $30 Kitchen Cabinet Upgrade
This tiny kitchen was making its owner feel claustrophobic. All it took was $30 and a couple of hours to add breathing room—and beauty—without losing any storage space. Here’s what inspired this ultra-approachable upgrade: Unfortunately, I have a tiny kitchen… as in “two’s a crowd” kind of tiny. Cabinets on top, limited counter space and cabinets on the bottom. Pretty standard and does the job, usually.
Oct 31, 2018
Before and After: This Kitchen Is Now the Opposite of Dark and Dreary
For its 40th birthday, this home received the ultimate gift: a completely new kitchen. With the renovation supervised by a toddler, this overhaul was completed in just a month and a half. Here’s a little backstory about the process: We bought this house six weeks before giving birth to our baby. We had really hoped to find a house before he was due and after searching for literally a year, we found this one.
Oct 30, 2018
Before and After: This Sunroom Becomes a $300 Second Living Room
The owner of this space described it as “a very scary sunroom,” and the presence of asbestos alone earns it that designation. After six weeks of hardcore work, it’s now anything but scary. Here’s a bit more insight about what our intrepid DIYer was facing: The before of my sunroom was symbolic of the entire house—unloved, a little broken, but with a lot of potential.
Oct 29, 2018
14 Clever Sugru Household Fixes & Hacks
Sugru is the magical, moldable household putty-like glue with a million uses—but we’ve rounded up our 14 favorite applications. Guaranteed there are at least three here that will change your life. (And the best part? It’s only $10 on Amazon!) How many chargers have we all lost to the dreaded bendy-fray? Use Sugru to reinforce a charger that’s starting to go, or reinforce one now so it never does. This is flat-out genius.
Oct 28, 2018
This 510-Square-Foot Houseboat Is a Total Surprise on the Inside
This darling little houseboat brings to mind the Gorton’s fisherman, and perhaps the Belafonte from The Life Aquatic, but none of those associations will prepare one for the elegance—and shocking spaciousness—that lies within. How in the world does this much fabulousness fit into that little boat? If there’s one thing not generally associated with houseboats, it’s luxuriously open spaces.
Oct 28, 2018
Before and After: Wait Until You See What This Target Headboard Turns Into
What can you turn a headboard into? Here’s a hint: this decadent blush velvet, channel-seam headboard is leaving the boudoir for the cuisine… I love everything about this: the fantastic floor, the black-and-white base palette, the luscious green, mustard, and blush accents, the enviable bistro vibe, the elegant storage in the benches, and the visionary decision to use a headboard to create a comfy yet glam breakfast nook.
Oct 28, 2018
Before and After: This $100 Bedroom Redo Has One Amazing HomeGoods Hack
This basement guest bedroom was nicer than a lot of master bedrooms, but its owner knew it could be even better—on a budget. Let’s see how $100 totally changed this room’s look. This makeover is all-around fantastic, but my favorite aspect is that many of the elements have been kept the same, but the overall effect is completely fresh.
Oct 27, 2018
Before and After: A Major Upgrade for a Generic IKEA KALLAX
We’ve seen a few IKEA KALLAX hacks before— the room divider, the terrarium, the amazing craft credenza—and they’re all inspiring, and this one is no exception. The secret, magical ingredient? Plywood. Reddit user thehomestud scored some free IKEA KALLAX units with drawers and decided to make the most of this windfall.
Oct 26, 2018
Before and After: This Ranch Basement Got a Brand New $3K Bathroom
Some of you are going to mourn the loss of these pink ’60s tiles, but after 18 years of living with multiple similarly-hued bathrooms, the owners of this home were ready for anything but pink. Reader Jennifer Anderson has kindly submitted this project—here’s some insight into what led to it: Our 1961 ranch only has two bathrooms, one of which was this sad pink nightmare.
Oct 25, 2018
Before and After: An ’80s Bachelor Pad Gets a New Minimal, Modern Kitchen
This ’80s kitchen had ample cabinet space, a dishwashing sink, and wonderfully high ceilings—but the rest of it needed some major work. One excellent interior designer to the rescue… Before we admire the kitchen today, let’s take a step back and learn more about what it look liked before—and its owner: Drew is a bachelor living in Santa Monica. We were introduced by a mutual friend whose home I also helped design.
Oct 24, 2018
Before and After: There’s a Lot to Love About This Kitchen Makeunder
A couple bought this house on the condition that they’d renovate the kitchen right away, but seven years later, the room was still mocking them, unrenovated. But now they finally have the kitchen they’ve been dreaming of all this time. This amazing renovation is intriguing: The new kitchen isn’t dramatically different from before, and yet it’s so different. Annie Meisel made smart, stylish changes that made a world of difference.
Oct 23, 2018
Before and After: An Ultra-Budget Bathroom Makeover
This bathroom is pretty great. It has a ton of original 1957 features that appear to be in pristine condition. It’s got more going for it than many bathrooms we see, but its owner wanted to add crucial storage and “finally get a real coat of paint on the walls to cover up the three different kinds of paint sheen”—all for only $100. So pretty and practical.
Oct 22, 2018
Before and After: This Remarkable Small Bathroom Refresh Was Only $100
This powder room boasts a pretty pedestal sink (that doesn’t offer much surface storage space), a nice big mirror in an interesting shape (but those faceted clips are less than ideal), and nice pale walls (though it’s that generic cream-beige). It was an excellent setup that could use a bit of a spruce… Oooh baby, this is so much nicer. The changes aren’t huge, but they’re so, so effective, especially considering they only cost about $100.
Oct 20, 2018
Before and After: A Surprising (and Very Sweet) Use For A Dysfunctional Closet
Whether you’re a pet owner looking for some inspiration, a design enthusiast who loves a good transformation, someone stressed out by this photo who needs to know that this closet is nice and neat now, or simply a human who could really use some photos of two darling dogs, this is for you. I so appreciate the realness of this photo, as well as that of this paragraph: With five children we found our entryway coat closet in constant disarray.
Oct 19, 2018
Before and After: This $350 Kitchen Redo Is Filled with Smart Rental Tricks
You know the drill: Any improvements made to this rental kitchen needed to be affordable and reversible, so that the renter could get the security deposit back. With just $500 in upgrades and some very clever re-styling, this kitchen now looks like a million bucks. I was all ready to gush over this ridiculously adorable wallpaper, when I realized that it’s not wallpaper: It’s renter-friendly removable decals.
Oct 18, 2018
Before and After: 3 Changes Made a Big Difference in This $12K Kitchen
When the new owner of this loft realized that completely renovating the kitchen would be quite expensive and not all that exciting, a “refresh” was undertaken instead—and three big changes made an enormous impact. First things first: The tiled countertops have been replaced. The new quartz countertops are a major upgrade, and I enjoy the fact that both horizontal surfaces are organic, forming a counterpoint to the sleek black cabinetry.
Oct 17, 2018
Before and After: A New Look for an Old Kitchen Breakfast Nook
This kitchen had a sweet little eat-in area, but its owners were less-than-thrilled with its aesthetic, so they replaced this intensely brown and beige dining spot with a jazzy breakfast nook. First, a little insight about the kitchen as a whole: My husband and I were excited about the size and footprint of our kitchen in our first home, but were less thrilled about the orange oak-y style. Orangey-oak is my style nemesis, so I can’t wait to see its opposite . . .
Oct 16, 2018
Before and After: A Designer-Approved Paint Trick Transforms This Living Room
It's like night and day... or day and night.
Oct 15, 2018
Before and After: $200 Later, This Basement is Now Living Its Best Life
Basement makeovers generally include a fresh coat of paint, perhaps some new furniture, but nothing too dramatic or formal. This particular transformation is an exception, and the results are damn delightful. What we have here is one of those rare multi-step Before & After projects: this photo documents an in-between stage, after the walls and balusters have been painted and all kinds of handy and attractive storage has been added, but before the final stage. Keep scrolling for the rest.
Oct 14, 2018
Proof We Should All Use Giant DIY Jenga Games as Side Tables
There is so much beauty and elegance to gaze upon in this wonderfully minimal house tour, but our eye was drawn to one particular—and highly unlikely—element: that museum-worthy pedestal, which is secretly a giant Jenga set. Looking at this house tour on Emily Henderson’s site of designer Melanie Burstin’s home, one would never guess that such a chic, refined space would feature something as chaotic and, let’s face it, loud as a giant Jenga set.
Oct 13, 2018
Before and After: IKEA Kitchen Cabinets Kept This Remodel Affordable
We’ve seen this kitchen a million times before: aggressively honey paneled cabinetry, dark mottled stone countertops, beige floor, and an above-window wooden flourish—plus a bonus ruffly ceiling fan. Will the cupboards be painted white?
Oct 13, 2018
30+ Creative Painted Pumpkin Ideas for Those Who Hate Carving
Filled with Halloween spirit but don’t necessarily want to trash your apartment with pumpkin goop and seeds? Here are 35 ways to paint your pumpkins that are just as festive as traditional jack-o-lanterns—maybe even more festive, with way more possibilities and way less mess. The smart folks at Think.Make.Share invited a bunch of @hallmark artists to create a pile of pumpkins in an exceedingly pleasing palette.
Oct 12, 2018
Before and After: A Timeless Update for a U-Shaped Kitchen
This 1981 kitchen had some plumbing and cleanliness issues, in addition to the overall ’80s vibe that needed updating. Enjoy those turquoise countertops while you can because they are not long for this world. Reader Mike Groner shares some insight into the project: When I purchased the condo in December 2015 not much had been touched since the building was originally built in 1981. The cabinets were all contractor grade from that period.
Oct 11, 2018
Before and After: This Cherry Wood Kitchen Is Now a Riot of Color and Pattern
If you’re assuming that these early-aughts cherry cabinets are going to be replaced with white ones, you’re correct (but only half correct). This brown-beige-black kitchen now glows with a riot of color and pattern. Reader Jessica Leas’s new kitchen is so amazing. It’s hard for anything to compete with those gloriously ornate Mexican tiles, but for me, the gorgeous green cabinets more than hold their own against them.
Oct 10, 2018
Before and After: This Pink Houseboat Keeps Getting Better and Better
If you’re thinking that there couldn’t possibly be any improvements upon this Wes Anderson–worthy houseboat, hold onto your Team Zissou beanie because things are about to get a lot cuter—and cleaner. Erika Klees of the Pink Lady is the person responsible for this amazing houseboat renovation.
Oct 9, 2018
Before and After: A White Bathroom Gets a $100 DIY Makeover
When pink towels weren’t enough to liven up an entirely white bathroom, one intrepid DIYer spent the weekend—and just $100—transforming the room with color. Here’s what was behind this weekend makeover: Even for someone who loves white, like me, this space was way too sterile and cold. All I wanted was to add a little character without committing to too much color. Wow! Angelica of My Dear Irene did such an amazing—and efficient—job.
Oct 8, 2018
Before and After: This Airstream Trailer Is Now a Flexible, Free Bohemian Dream
As if a major Airstream makeover isn’t enough to get excited about, this one features an extremely fuzzy puppy. And some top-notch remodeling, of course. Let’s hear what led to the acquisition of this vintage trailer: We’re Nate and Taylor Lavender! We met in West Virginia and moved to Florida for three years. We bought an Airstream, remodeled it, got married, and now we’re living in it full time with our dog, Summit.
Oct 6, 2018